In the span of just one year, Michael Madsen went from an orca-sympathizing father in Free Willy to an ear-chopping lunatic in Reservoir Dogs. He disappeared into each role, and we say that with high praise. How many other actors could pull off such a transition? The list is short.
The easy-to-talk-to, free-wheeling Madsen admits that Quentin Tarantino gave him his career—his roles as Mr. Blonde in Dogs and Budd in Kill Bill have attached a "tough-guy" image, but it's one he doesn't seem to mind much. He never expected this to be his life's work, anyway. (More on that below.)
When you separate the man and the actor, you see a regular guy from the South Side of Chicago who's a father and lover of cars. Earlier this week we learned just that, plus got to chat with Mr. Madsen on all things Tarantino, Caddys, and hot sauce.